November 23, 2010, was the day everything changed for The First Lady of Boxing. Christy Martin, was in her bedroom putting on her running shoes when the sound of her husband at the time, Jim Martin, was sharpening a knife in another room.
Jim: "I have something to show you."
He storms into the room and hits Martin in the arm, then without question, he hits her multiple times around the breast area, then stabs her with a buck knife he was holding behind his back.
The two fight and wrestle all over the room. Jim grabs Christy's head and bangs it directly into the dresser. The sight of a pink 9 mm pistol appears in the hand of a then 66-year-old man who's supposed to keep the boxing star safe, yet he pistol whips her across the face instead.
Christy: "You Can't Kill Me Motherfucker!"
Jim points the barrel of the gun directly at Martin's face and pulls the trigger.
Jim decides to leave the scene to shower his cut on his hand filled with blood.
At that time, Christy gets up from the floor, grabs car keys, and lets herself out the front door. When she realizes she grabs the wrong car keys, a very nice samaritan she calls "her Angel" stopped to help. He took her to a hospital, then she gets airlifted to a trauma center, where her life was saved.
Christy: "Every few minutes, Jim would walk back in and look at me, I guess just checking to see if I'd died yet."
The bullet remains three inches from her heart. The Surgeon decides to not take it out because her body was just too weak at the time.
Jim always didn't always want Christy dead.
At the start of her career, she was attending Concord College on a scholarship for a degree in Education. In between her learning, she decides to compete in a boxing competition with no formal training. That night she gets her hand raised and earns $1000.
From there she was hooked.
Throughout her career, she managed to be the first woman to get signed by the famous boxing promoter Don King. Her first fight was against Deirdre Gogarty which had 80 million viewers glued to that tv screen that night from all around the world.
That fight and win put Christy and women's boxing on the map. She continues fighting on Mike Tyson cards, headlining the MSG in New York, being the first female boxer to grace Sports Illustrated.
I mean, Don King and Mike Tyson gifted her a white BMW Z3. Talk about living the high life.
The more famous and skilled Christy got, the more anger Jim had towards her.
She wants to grow and gain more experience as a professional boxer, not just remain stagnant. As he remained to be her trainer, that goal was unforeseen. But whenever she expresses that to Jim, he would take it out on her with physical abuse. Whether it came from his own hands, it didn't matter because he found his ways to perform disguised abuse.
The night of April 23, 2003, Christy Martin aka The "Coal Mines Daughter" fought the famous Laila Ali. At the time, Ali's career started because she was inspired by the female fight between Martin and Gogarty, so she decided to start training.
Knowing there was something off ahead of time, the thought of Laila being 5'11 and 162 lbs, the matchup didn't make too much sense for Martin on paper and up close. But both fighters were famous and people were talking.
Once the start of the bell rang, immediately, Laila hit her on the top of the head. She dominates through the rounds and Martin starts to show damage.
At this rate, Christy was fighting "on a slant" as she couldn't see out of her eyes. Her vision is impaired, Christy tries being vocal to Jim to let him know she doesn't think she couldn't continue the fight. But he wouldn't throw in the towel. She was getting so beat that the decision to place a knee and quit happened for the first time in her career.
Jim left her to die in that ring by not doing anything as a trainer. She experiences her first loss and a concussion.
Laila Ali became the new Champion that night.
In 2008 Jim started giving Christy cocaine.
He would cut up her lines during training while her boxing gloves were still on, and she would snort right into her nose. Martin was always high, and her recent loss didn't make things better.
At the same time, Christy was falling in love with a woman named Sherry she grew up with as a teenager.
She wants a divorce from Jim, but he hits her across the face and knocks her teeth out for asking. Christy knew she was a lesbian, but her ex-husband kept her in a bubble. He would tell her things, if people found out her career would be ruined. She believed him.
Christy was only married to Jim for how it would look to the public, as she was coming up as a pro-boxer.
In the earlier days, there's a handful of content where Christy makes underlying comments to one of her opponents, Lisa Holewyne, on her appearance and sexuality. Fast-forward, it was who Christy was the whole time. Now being out as a lesbian in the LGBT community, they were very supportive every step of the way when the news broke.
Even though it didn't work with Sherry, she still had her eye on the prize.
It wasn't even 24 hours after Christy was stabbed and shot with her own gun that she was back training at the gym for another fight. She wants to prove that she could do this without Jim.
On June 4, 2021, Christy Martin fights Dakota Stone and knocks her opponent down in the ring for the first time in her career. A broken hand was the last thing to keep Christy from finishing that fight in the last round, but the doctor decides to call the fight anyway in Stone's favor.
A TKO with a doctor's stoppage. Ouch.
This would've been Christy's 50th career win, as she knew she was winning the fight. Instead, she remembers lying on the bedroom floor near death with the smell from the smoke of the barrel after the loud bang. That was her win, her 50th victory. Where she was able to walk out that front door still breathing.
After going to trial, Jim Martin is guilty of attempted second-degree murder with a firearm and is still serving a 25-year sentence.
During the present day, Christy Martin officially goes by the name Christy Renea Salters.
She's been happily married since 2017 to long-time friend and pro-boxer Lisa Holeyne. The First Lady of Boxing runs Christy Martin Promotions today while she fights against domestic violence by being candid with her truth in order to help others.
What a story.
There is something to say about someone who will never quit. Christy was one of those people. She will always be remembered for her bold legacy. Given the trouble behind the scenes, the days of resilience will remain with her induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame 2020, the first year women were included in the ballet.
What do I take from all this? NEVER QUIT.
Make sure to watch Netflix's UNTOLD: Deal With The Devil for more.
Are you a victim of domestic violence? Please read the National Domestic Violence Hotline for further resources.